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A Valentine’s tale of a love meant to be … eventually

Many of us spend our lives longing to find someone special—that someone who completes us and makes us feel truly loved. Billy and Robin Hooper of Mathews found that someone at the tender age of 12, but it took decades—and a dating app—to finally fulfill their love.

Billy moved to Mathews in 1972, when he was seven years old, and Robin came along four years later. They didn’t know each other because Robin went to private school. But the summer before they were both going into seventh grade, Billy’s youth group at Mathews Baptist Church went on a field trip to Kings Dominion, and a girl in the group, Sherii Garrett, invited Robin to go along.

Billy was a big, shy, klutzy kid who had a mustache by the time he was 13 and couldn’t walk through a room without knocking something over. He grew up with no television, listening to bluegrass on the radio and spending his time with his family and on the water. Robin was a petite equestrienne with a Dorothy Ham...

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